Sunday, November 6, 2011

Under Pressure

My brother is always right about everything all of the time, mainly because he is so difficult to persuade otherwise that it is often easier to concede the argument than continue it.  But sometimes, if you have the wherewithal to endure, you might share an idea that gives him pause.  He may not admit defeat, but he will conclude that your point is worthy of consideration.  In these small victories, I find great pride.

One such victory occurred on a recent trip to Georgia for our sister's wedding.  At the rehearsal we observed the wedding planner bustling around, frazzled yet controlled, smiling yet glowering and Travis commented that he'd never want to be a wedding planner as the responsibility of making this one day (out of a lifetime of days) live up to a bride and groom's fantasy of a day was too much pressure.

To which I laughed. 

As teachers, Travis and I work under pressure each and everyday.  Pressure of AYP.  Pressure of NCLB.  Pressure of EOCT, MAP, AP, ACT, SAT.  Pressure of lesson plans. Pressure of differentiation.  Pressure of grading.  Pressure of stakeholders.  Pressure of parents.  Pressure of students.  And that's just the beginning.

Travis enjoys the added pressure of running the girls' basketball program for his school district.  As a former assistant coach myself, those are pressures I am thankful to no longer enjoy.

Add to local pressures placed on educators the pressures of a Nation who pinpoints failing education as a contributing cause of all our national woes.  Immigration, poverty, taxation, unemployment, violence, and welfare have all, at some point or another, been identified as a result of education's missteps.  When a problem arises and a scapegoat needed, education prevails, ready for blame.

The tears of a hysterical bridezilla pale when compared to those of Lady Liberty.  While I have no interest in planning weddings, in holding a bride's special day in my hand, it would be simpler than holding, as I do now, the Nation's future hopes of prosperity.  Constant scrutiny for little praise (and even less pay) would lead most to abandon the post altogether especially since all I do, according to the blame thrown at my feet, is futile at preserving and improving the station of our great Nation; yet I teach.

Good thing I work well under pressure.

1 comment:

Joe Thomasson said...

So true.. It's my belief that the "failures attributed to education" are intended (or should be) for the infrastructure (or lack thereof) of our nation's education system, and the band-aid like "fixes" that have been applied to it over time. Unfortunately, most sheeple in America take the "education system" to mean teachers only, not realizing that tere is an ENORMOUS bureaucracy above their local school, which places restrictions and provides "budgets" (yes, i chuckled while i wrote that word) that teachers must use to teach the future of America. Most Americans won't allow themselves to realize the proverbial handcuffs placed on teachers in regards to what, when and even HOW they teach.